I was furious about this particulary disgraceful legislative dung-rolling last December, and now the Boston Globe has a mealy-mouthed “bipartisan” front page article explaining how one side’s crazy opportunists have made themselves both sides’ problem:
WASHINGTON — It had been 16 years since Bob Dole stepped down as Senate Republican leader, ending a legislative career in which he earned a reputation as a master of bipartisanship. Yet there he was at the end of 2012, trying to close a deal.
Dole was 89 years old, just out of the hospital, working the phones to win senators’ support. Then, in a dramatic effort, he rolled in his wheelchair onto the Senate floor, all but daring senators to vote against him and, by proxy, anyone with a disability.
It was a moment Dole had long awaited. He had brought the parties together to pass his greatest piece of legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which required the retrofitting of buildings and sidewalks and provided an array of other rights.
Now he wanted the Senate to approve an international treaty that would spur other nations to pass their version of the law, making the United States a role model to help tens of millions of people around the world….
The treaty’s defeat on Dec. 4, 2012, was a defining moment for the Senate, even if it received far less notice than crises such as the fiscal cliff….
Highlighting one particular dung beetle in human form:
… To get to the office of Michael Farris, a visitor drives about an hour from Washington to arrive at the town of Purcellville, population 8,043, a mix of old-world Virginia and strip mall suburbia. It is here in the Appalachian foothills that Farris more than a decade ago established Patrick Henry College, a Christian liberal arts institution with 300 students. It also serves as headquarters for his political power base, the Home School Legal Defense Fund…
Farris has a history of run-ins with moderate Republicans. A father of 10, he was defeated in his 1993 bid to be lieutenant governor of Virginia after one of Dole’s closest colleagues, then-Senator John Warner of Virginia, took the unusual step of declining to endorse him. Since then, Farris has used his home-schooling organization to take on moderates that he says are ruining the GOP.
“There are two parties in Washington,” Farris said. There is “the evil party,” meaning Democrats, and “the stupid party,” referring to many Republicans, he said.
Unlike some Republicans who say the party should moderate its positions in the aftermath of losses in the 2012 campaign, Farris said the opposite approach is the best prescription. What Republicans need to do, he said, is listen to grass-roots members whose primary concern is liberty and sovereignty. That is why he seized upon the disabilities treaty. He saw it as an attack on American ideals and values.
And he saw something else. It is, he said, the ideal “wedge issue” for future political campaigns….
I’m gonna repeat myself: Decent Democrats during the later two-thirds of the twentieth century were forever being embarrassed by the Boll Weevil Democrats. Those pests have been replaced by Dung Beetle Republicans. Some of them are crazy, and some of them are trying to use that crazy for their own malign ends, and every single one of them is a public disgrace.
Unpleasant as it is to contemplate, for a lot of traditional Republicans, 2016 is going to be Rick Santorum’s “turn” to lead the GOP ticket. And if you don’t think Michael Farris and his mailing list are going to be all over Sanctorum’s platform like dung beetles on a particularly fragrant elephant turd… well, you may not have been paying enough attention.